University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Miller v. Baltimore Gas & Electric Company EE-MD-0137
Docket / Court 00-cv-02808 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On September 20, 2000, a group of African-American employees filed a class action suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company in United States District Court of the District of Maryland. The ... read more >
On September 20, 2000, a group of African-American employees filed a class action suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company in United States District Court of the District of Maryland. The plaintiffs represented by private counsel asked the Court for injunctive relief and compensatory relief and punitive damages alleging systemic discrimination and harassment. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that the nuclear power plant had racially motivated discrimination practices in its selection, transfer, testing, performance evaluation, compensation, and discipline policies, practices, and procedures, as well a hostile work environment. Several of the named plaintiffs also sought individual damages for retaliatory actions taken against them by the defendant.

On August 1, 2001, the Court (Judge Blake) handed down three orders. First, the Court denied the plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint. The plaintiffs originally sought class-wide compensatory and punitive damages, however, they proposed to revise this claim to seek only injunctive and declaratory relief on a class-wide basis. The Court denied this motion because without seeking compensatory and punitive damages as a class, class certification would become a highly complex issue. The Court desired that the plaintiffs attempt first to seek the original class certification and to file an amended complaint only if their motion was denied. Miller v. Baltimore Gas, 202 F.R.D. 208 (D.C.M.D. 2001).

The second order denied the defendant's motion for the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint that did not seek class certification. The Court (Judge Blake) believed there was enough evidence to possibly certify a class, and thus, the defendant's motion was denied. Miller v. Baltimore Gas, 202 F.R.D. 208 (D.C.M.D. 2001).

The third order of the day denied the defendant's motion for partial summary judgment. The Court (Judge Blake) believed the class action had merit, and wanted to let the litigation proceed. Miller v. Baltimore Gas, 202 F.R.D. 208 (D.C.M.D. 2001).

The class was never actually certified because on July 22, 2005, a consent decree was reached and was signed and ordered by the Court (Judge Blake). The settlement awarded $650,000 thousand to each of the eight named plaintiffs, $2 million in attorneys fees, and the rest was dispersed among other class members and diversity programs at the company. However, on September 18, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for sanctions against the defendant for violating the consent decree. After more proceedings, a revised decree was reached. On January 31, 2007, a proposed consent decree was signed and ordered by the Court (Judge Blake). The case was closed on March 7, 2007.

Matthew Aibel - 04/20/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Baltimore Gas & Electric Company
Plaintiff Description 8 black employees of Baltimore Gas & Electric Company employed at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and similarly situated individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:00−cv−02808 (D. Md.) 09/20/2000
EE-MD-0137-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Order denying plaintiff's motion to amend complaint 09/09/2001 (202 F.R.D. 195) (D. Md.)
EE-MD-0137-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Proposed consent decree 05/17/2005
EE-MD-0137-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Blake, Catherine C. (D. Md.) [Magistrate]
EE-MD-0137-0002 | EE-MD-0137-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Caspe, Jessica (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Dixon, Charles R. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Fleming, Timothy B. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0137-0001 | EE-MD-0137-9000
Kisch, Lori B. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0137-0001 | EE-MD-0137-9000
Morris, Grant E. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0137-0001 | EE-MD-0137-9000
Neal, Daria E. (Virginia)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Sanford, David W. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Buckler, Patrick R. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Cherry, Ronald M. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Fisher, Kerry B. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Galambos, L. Denise (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-0001 | EE-MD-0137-9000
Kane, Richard F. (North Carolina)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Marcuss, Elena D. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Wood, John L. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0137-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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